What a melting Arctic means for Asia

PRESS RELEASE - 4 October 2019 - In a landmark year for awareness on climate issues, Eco-Business today launched Changing Course 2019: An exploration of our climate crisis at Marina Bay Sands’ ArtScience Museum in Singapore.

The multimedia exhibition is the centrepiece of the museum’s month-long Climate: SOS – Season of Sustainability, a series of events and programmes focusing on the impact of climate change on oceanic environments.

It is open to public for free from Saturday, 5 October to Sunday, 3 November 2019.Produced by Eco-Business, the exhibition showcases the sights, sounds and stories of landscapes and communities at the frontlines of climate change – from the melting Arctic to droughts in Chennai, and the impact of rising temperatures in Asia’s cities, including Singapore.

These are captured in a series of photographic prints, a 360° video experience and a brand-new documentary entitled Arctic Awakening, which explores humanity’s relationship with our planet and aims to provoke answers to one central question: Can humanity change course?

The exhibition is part of Eco-Business and EB Impact’s eponymous climate change initiative Changing Course.Jessica Cheam, Managing Editor of Eco-Business and director behind Arctic Awakening, said: “This year we turned our attention to the North Pole, which is changing at an unprecedented rate due to climate change. What happens in the Arctic does not stay in the Arctic and has repercussions for the entire world, including Asia. We wanted to tell the story of what’s happening in the region, why it’s important to study what is going on here, and how it relates to us here.”

To encourage visitors to contribute towards restoring our planet, EB Impact also launched a new campaign to raise US$10,000 to plant 10,000 trees in four countries in Asia: India, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam. Visitors can do so by scanning a QR code at the exhibition itself or by visiting https://bit.ly/reforestwithebimpact to donate. Each dollar will allow partner One Tree Planted to put one tree in the ground. EB Impact is the sister non-profit organisation of Eco-Business dedicated to programmes that generate positive sustainable development impact.

Honor Harger, Executive Director of ArtScience Museum, said: “ArtScience Museum has a deep commitment to sustainability. Over the past five years, we have staged several exhibitions, programmes and educational activities that that send a clear message about the urgency of taking action to address environmental threats such as climate change and biodiversity loss. Having worked on several projects that investigate the critical issues faced by rainforests in South East Asia, Climate S.O.S switches focus to the sea and the polar regions, with a series of projects that encourage our visitors to take action to protect these ecosystems. We are pleased to be working with like-minded partners such as Eco-Business, the Singapore Eco Film Festival and MeshMinds who share our passion for creating a better future for the environment.”

Changing Course 2019 is a multi-stakeholder initiative supported by a wide range of organisations including APRIL Group, ArtScience Museum, Blue Planet Environmental Solutions, City Developments Limited, ComfortDelGro, iSwitch, Henkel, the Norwegian Embassy in Singapore, OCBC Bank, Olam International, RED, Sindicatum Renewable Energy, Singapore’s Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, United Nations Environment, and Wartsila. The initiative is organised in support of Singapore’s Year Towards Zero Waste and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

Sunny Verghese, Chief Executive Officer, Olam International and Chair, World Business Council for Sustainable Development, said: “At Olam, we have a direct interest in tackling anything that could impact the future of agriculture. But such complex challenges like climate change are impossible to solve alone. Through initiatives like Changing Course, we hope more will take up the cause to re-imagine our future with us.”

Jackson Chia, Group Chief Risk and Sustainability Officer, ComfortDelGro, remarked: “As a global transport operator, we are ever cognisant of the fact that our operations have significant impact on the environment and the communities we operate in. Changing Course’s urgent call to climate action resonates with us as the consequences of climate change have critical impacts to our business enterprises.”

Esther An, Chief Sustainability Officer at City Developments Limited (CDL), said: “As a strong advocate for climate action, green buildings and ESG best practices in the real estate industry, CDL has always been committed to tackling climate challenges. We firmly believe in collaboration and partnerships to amplify positive impact. For over two decades, youth development has been a priority for CDL to nurture young eco-champions. CDL hopes that the Changing Course exhibition, curated by CDL E-Generation Challenge 2017 winner Jessica Cheam, will inspire and spur climate action among museum-goers.”

Commenting on what he’d like to see visitors take away from Changing Course 2019,Andrew Koscharsky, Chief Commercial Officer of iSwitch, added: “Climate change is real. The world is pleading for change towards a more carbon neutral footprint. We must all do our part to help make Singapore and the world a greener place to live in and it doesn’t take much to start.”

Koh Ching Ching, OCBC’s Head of Group Brand & Communications, said: “We are pleased to partner Changing Course for the second time. What we like about the programme is the action it takes to fight climate change, beyond just words. One key action we must take is to tackle carbon emissions. Eco-Business has championed this cause commendably.”

“There is increasing clarity that businesses should be responding to the global imperative to achieve the 2030 development agenda, while keeping within climate targets of below 1.5 degrees warming. We recognise that sustainable forest management plays a critical role in this mandate,” said Lucita Jasmin, Director of Sustainability & External Affairs, APRIL Group.

To watch the trailer of Arctic Awakening, click here

To download photographs from the exhibition, please click here

For media queries, please contact Hannah Koh, hannah@eco-business.com

About Eco-Business

Established in 2009, Eco-Business is Asia Pacific’s leading media organisation on sustainable development. Its independent journalism unit publishes high quality, trusted news and views that advance dialogue and enables measurable impact on a wide range of sustainable development and responsible business issues. It is headquartered in Singapore, with offices in Manila, Beijing, and correspondents across major cities in Asia Pacific. Visit http://www.eco-business.com

About EB Impact

EB Impact is the sister non-profit organisation of Eco-Business focused on delivering training and programmes to Asia Pacific’s underserved communities to generate positive sustainable development impact.
Visit http://www.ebimpact.org

About Changing Course

Changing Course 2019 is the second edition of Eco-Business’ flagship climate initiative that raises awareness on climate change and inspires action to address it. The centrepiece to the initiative, Changing Course 2019: An exploration of our climate crisis, is an interactive exhibition held at the ArtScience Museum, Marina Bay Sands in Singapore from 5 October to 3 November 2019. Developed by Eco-Business journalists, the photographs and VR experience shine a spotlight on the relationship between the melting North and Asia to provoke answers to this central question: Can humanity change course? Visit http://www.changingcourse.eco-business.com